The Shasta County Sheriff’s Department is holding a press conference Thursday; just one week after a man blew most of his hand off using explosives in his home.
Deputies say more than 40 pounds of explosives lay inside a home on Chaparral Drive.
That’s where 63-year-old D Ray East blew off most of his hand Feb. 6.
He first reported he was making rocket fuel, but then admitted he was making an explosive device that went off, according to Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko.
East’s attorney, Jeffrey Stotter, disputes that.
He acknowledges there are chemicals, but only those associated with model rockets. Stotter is firm, his client knows nothing about explosive material.
Stotter said his client quit answering law enforcement's questions because statements can be misunderstood and misconstrued.
Stotter also takes issue with deputies saying that East was uncooperative.
He said that, to his knowledge East has answered investigators questions.
Now that Stotter has been retained as East's attorney, all questions will go through him.
Stotter said that East is very sorry and wants the situation resolved as quickly and painlessly as possible.
East doesn’t feel there is any threat to his neighbors, but Stotter pointed out that both he and his client understand that authorities need to be overly cautious, and does not fault them for it.
The Shasta County Sheriff’s Department is taking the situation very seriously.
The Shasta County Board of Supervisors ratified Sheriff Tom Bosenko’s declaration of a local emergency Wednesday.
This means more support from the state and federal government.
A similar incident happened in San Diego in 2010; that home had to be burned down to prevent explosions from devices that require contact to detonate.
If the Shasta County Sheriff’s Department does burn the home, many agencies will be involved, including the Shasta County Public Health Agency.
Stotter said the Shasta County Sheriff’s Department told him they could “incinerate or destroy” the home as early as Sunday.
It is still not clear whether any crime has been committed.
A mandatory evacuation is still in place. That means that once a person within the 1,000 foot perimeter leaves the home, they won’t be allowed back inside.
The evacuation center for people in the perimeter is located at the Army National Guard Armory on 3025 South Street in Redding. Residents are encouraged to contact the local American Red Cross for accommodations or other resources at (530) 244-8000.
The public is asked to stay out of the area for safety concerns.